Young jumper breaks through at Warrnambool

Apr 30, 2013

Young jumper Viking Tiger started a potentially lucrative jumps season with a comfortable win in the MRC $300,000 Jumps Bonus Maiden Hurdle (3200m) at Warrnambool.

Viking Tiger showed enough potential in his first preparation with the Ciaron Maher stable to convince the trainer to give him a shot over hurdles in August last year, where he ran second in a maiden hurdle at Pakenham.

Maher gave Viking Tiger time to mature during a six-month spell before the gelding returned with five solid runs, including his maiden flat win, to build fitness for the 2013 jumps season.

Viking Tiger was Maher’s first runner of this year’s Warrnambool May Racing Carnival and the son of Tiger Hill got the team off to a flying start.

Irish jockey Richard Cully, who has become a valued member of the Maher team, partnered Viking Tiger again in the $20,000 contest, in which the pair had a terrific passage in fourth spot for the first 2400 metres.

Viking Tiger never went round a horse as Cully continually saved ground from the 800 metres to have the gelding in front just after jumping the last hurdle.

Viking Tiger showed plenty of dash on the flat as he held off a smart line-up to score his first hurdle win at just his second attempt but Maher said he believed the lightly-raced galloper would improve over bigger obstacles later in his career.

“He had one run last year off the back of a long campaign and we just put him away,” Maher said. “He was only a young horse last year. He’s a lot more seasoned and the plan came off.

“I think his future will lie eventually over the bigger ones (steeples), maybe here next year in the (Grand) Annual.”

The win was Viking Tiger’s second from 18 starts while the $11,830 winner’s cheque took his stakes tally to more than $35,000, more than double the price leading syndicator Shelley Hancox paid for him at the 2010 Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale.

Congratulations to Viking Tiger’s owners -  Hancox Bloodstock Pty Ltd Abba Syndicate, Mr J M Bowles, Mr B W Caldwell, Mr B G Grant, Mr B J Madden, Mr P H O'Reilly, Ms M Morris, Mr M J Ryan, Mr A W Woolcock.

© MiStable 2013